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Travel for 2021

I was hoping to make a trip to London and Amsterdam next Spring. What do you all think? Will travel be likely by then?

Posted by
4422 posts

No one knows what the situation will be in a couple of months, so trying to guess into 2021 is impossible to predict.

Will there be a flare up in the winter and therefore further lockdowns or will it have burnt itself out?

Are you prepared to travel before a vaccine? Do you have deep pockets, as if you get ill with Covid, your insurance won’t cover you and you will have to pay for treatment.

Will you have to quarantine at each end for 14 days? No one knows.

Posted by
18102 posts

Are you willing to travel before there's a vaccine available to the general public? That may make quite a difference. Also, when is "spring"--late March or mid-June?

Posted by
1669 posts

I pretty much agree with everyone else, although at present it seems like there's a good probability of a vaccine by January, so assuming this works out then yes more or less normal.

Absent a vaccine international travel is problematic. Relatively few people will travel if there's a quarantine or a threat of one due to no vaccine. It may be unwise to risk an expensive trip only to have COVID flare up while your travelling and then having a real problem getting home.

Posted by
5638 posts

It may be unwise to risk an expensive trip only to have COVID flare up while your travelling and then having a real problem getting home.

Perhaps one of the lessons learned and tweaks that governments and airlines will make, is to have a plan for how to react in a shorter time frame, and add flights on short notice to get people home.

Posted by
4519 posts

As you can tell from the above, you won't get any crystal-ball info on this forum, nor should you expect it. If you want to make such a trip, I suggest that you start planning for it, putting together an itinerary and making the necessary flight and lodging reservations. You have plenty of time to do this. But don't buy any non-refundable tickets or prepaid rooms, i.e. don't put any money at risk. While many people got refunds on "non-refundable" costs this spring because no one could have predicted the pandemic, you can't count on such flexibility next year after we've all been warned. And many people are still trying to get refunds or went through a lot of delay getting them, as you can tell from many threads on this forum.

People here can help you with practical details and recommendations, but no one here can give you even an educated guess about the state of international travel next spring. And only you know your health status and risk tolerance.

Posted by
7084 posts

Perhaps one of the lessons learned and tweaks that governments and airlines will make, is to have a plan for how to react in a shorter time frame, and add flights on short notice to get people home.

In theory, a good idea.

I suspect implementation 'next time', may be even more difficult than what happened this time. With air travel at somewhere in the 10-25% of normal, there will be fewer planes and crew at the ready to deploy. The pilots need to fly regularly to maintain their rating or go through a refresher course to regain flight status. True there will be fewer people to move but the ratio ( of people to move and available planes & crew) will be essentially the same.

Hopefully the cruise industry has learned how to deal with the issue in a better way than just parking a mile offshore.

As for the original question, 'maybe', but my crystal ball is at the shop for a tune and cleaning and there is no ETA for its return.

Good health and good luck to us all!

Posted by
700 posts

James E- “Life was maybe 80% normal.” How is that now working out for those folks?

Unless there is a proven vaccine (by Jan 21- in your dreams) and/or the US runaway infections brought under control there will not be a lot of US residents heading overseas in 2021. Plan trips to your hearts content but folks are seriously delusional if the are actually booking and putting money down.

What you are going to find are periods of “quiet and open” in terms of Covid then it will come roaring back thus travel will be grab a ticket and go-now during those quiet times. Longterm planning and booking, not a chance before 2022. I find the threads by folks planning their spring/summer 2021 trips as if life will be normal to be hilarious, if not so sad. Are they really living in such a state of denial?

Posted by
1669 posts

onefastbob, I hear you. We're not putting any money down on anything until the situation is clear, meaning a truly effective vaccine and letting others travel first to see how it goes.

Posted by
2610 posts

I sure wouldn’t be first in line to get the vaccine. Vaccines development is a long, complex process often lasting 10 years. Even if they have a vaccine in December, they won’t know if it’s safe and it works. Testing on a few hundred doesn’t prove it’s safe and it works.

Posted by
5638 posts

Well, it ain't just about traveling, its about living. If a vaccine is good enough that the experts release it, I'm getting it.

Posted by
91 posts

Well by 2030 it will be a moot point for me.......and many other on this forum I suspect. Looking at the next 5-8 years as prime retired travel time for us. Really glad we took a lot of "stupid" 7-8 day trips to Europe while working the past 15-20 years!

Posted by
1669 posts

Influenza vaccines tend to be around 60 percent effective, or something like that, meaning you could get a different strain of the virus but not get as sick, so getting a vaccine is win-win. I just read that those with an O blood type tend to be more asymptomatic, which is cold comfort because my wife is not.

Posted by
91 posts

Followed 2 days later by a "report" that the O blood type partial immunity had been shown to be bogus.

No one knows what to believe anymore, every quasi rumour is headlined without any substantiation.

Posted by
726 posts

It will be interesting to see how being vaccinated will be tied to other travel documents, cause its sort of the other way around now. When Vacs do start happening, I think this would be a good question for a traveler to ask. And just how will vaccinations be authenticated?

We are not putting money down on anything till at least May 2022. So lucky, we got our travel fix late last year. We plan for about every two years anyway. :)

Posted by
1669 posts

John: Thanks, Dr. Buzzkill.

What does "60 percent effective" really mean with a vaccine? Does it mean you can still get the virus but not as sick, or that there is a 40 percent chance you're screwed? Those aren't good odds.

Posted by
245 posts

Travel for the next two years, I suspect, will be all about the amount of risk you are willing to take.

Consider - very recently, the UK opened travel corridors to multiple countries, including Spain. The Brits love the sun and love going to Spain, so after the big lockdown, once they were allowed to travel they booked their summer hols. As Spain opened up, even with the precautions they were taking (which were a lot), they had some spikes in cases of COVID. The UK government then took the step of "re-locking" Spain - meaning if you re-entered the UK after being in Spain (even if you had just left on you holiday), you have to quarantine when you come back. So that two week summer break in Spain just became four weeks for some people. Per the news, at least one doctor landed in Spain for a two week break, found out he was going to have to quarantine at home when he returned, and promptly changed his plans to go home immediately because he couldnt afford to miss work for a month. Others chose to ride it out, hoping against hope that when their holiday is finished, the restriction will be as well.

Its a judgement call, and only you can determine how much risk you are willing to take. Me? I dont plan on much of anything before the end of 2021.

Posted by
31216 posts

I agree with others, in that there's absolutely no way to predict what the situation will be like in 2021. A number of countries are starting to see a resurgence of coronavirus cases, and I'm not sure if that could be considered a "second wave" or whether it's because people assumed the worst was over and relaxed their guard?

If I were planning to travel next spring, my approach would be to put together a plan including hotels and transportation and research the regulations in the country I'd be visiting (ie: mask use, etc.). In the meantime, monitor the situation and if it looks like travel is possible, everything would be in place to book the trip on short notice..... YMMV.

Posted by
4646 posts

I have read a lot about vaccines. I am retired, so I read and read, especially when the other options are working in the yard.

A 60% to 70% effectiveness is actually pretty good from what I read. Also, because scientists think that many people already have a certain amount of immunity for the disease, especially younger people, that high a percentage will be close to a herd immunity.

Protect the people that are the most in danger from COVID-19. That is what some authorities didn't do very well in the beginning and the fatality rates reflect that for those places. I suspect that first responders will be first in line for the vaccine, then seniors, teachers, etc. Some will not take the vaccine, probably 20% or so, but they probably won't be allowed on an airplane or to travel overseas.

I am not discounting the threat of this disease, I am 72 and don't have any co-morbities, but I am careful, wearing a mask and not going to places with large crowds. Still, the fatality rare for my age without underlying conditions is less than 1 %.
At some point this will pass, or the risks will be minimized significantly by a vaccine.